Back in 2015 we ran an article where we tried to determined via market surveys what the largest selling service with the best individual customer feedback were. This was determined across the hosted IP PBX services for business market sector.
Back then we looked at each of the top 5 best performing hosted PBX services to see how each vendor’s service offering compares and what makes a top 5 product.
The rankings have been taken from PCmags 2015 survey, which determined the top 5 hosted PBX services for business to be:
- RingCentral Office
- Broadvoice Cloud PBX
- Jive Hosted VoIP
- Skype for Business
- Vonage Business
A lot has changed in the market place since 2015 and so in this article written in 2020 we will revisit this topic to determine which ones in our view are the current top 5 performers in the business hosted PBX segment.
When we determine which vendors to include we have to first determine what constitutes a business PBX. The features that we are most interested generally will include multi-line support, omnichannel support such a voice, text, messaging, video-calling, as well as some voice handling capabilities such as call transfer, call queuing, parking, recording and find-me follow-me techniques so that you never miss a call. Additionally, with the focus being on business there will be extended modern features such as video-call conferencing, team-meetings, team chat and other collaboration tools, such as desktop sharing for video presentations. It is these broad set of communication features that separate hosted or cloud PBX from other virtual telephone service that deal primarily with incoming call management.
Interestingly, there have been many changes since 2015 and our current listing is as follows:
2) Ooma Office
Ooma is a California based VoIP communications company that caters for both small business and enterprise customers. They boast that they have products to support customer whether they be 1, 20 or 200 users. For small businesses Ooma Office is proving to be an excellent product as it is receiving very favorable feedback from its loyal customer base. Indeed Ooma would win hands down in the popularity stakes if that was all we were judging. Unfortunately despite having a good range of voice and messaging features Ooma lacks in more advanced functions. For instance there are no value add collaboration and productivity tools as everything focuses on being a voice and messaging system and doing the very well.
Indeed although there is a mobile app available you need to upgrade to get a high quality softphone for the desktop. There is also a lack of messaging tools that are commonly available on competitors’ products although there is SMS. Similarly voice-mail transcription is extra as is call recording and there is no video support.
The lack of UCaaS or for that matter multi-channel support may be worrying but that doesn’t seem to bother Ooma’s loyal customers who rate the Ooma Office very highly indeed.
3) Broadvoice Cloud PBX
Broadvoice is another top ranked business service that was formerly known as PhonePower and that larger customer based in the US has helped it get a great reputation for support. Broadvoice however has now really shifted their emphasis away from SoHo and small businesses to provideding support for the larger SMB. Thus Broadvoice now supports a wide array or features and phone options.
As a business orientated service Broadvoice has all the standard unified communication and IP PBX features you now would expect in a business product such as an auto receptionist, IVR menus, voice, messaging, video and collaboration tools and online administration. However, a bonus with Broadvoice is there are also call center features with some nice training and supervisory tools like call monitoring, call barge and call whisper, which announces the caller’s name. These features provide all the business capabilities for an SMB or startup to appear as a large company, hence its top 5 placing.